UN warns climate change ‘hitting harder and sooner’ than forecast
Almaty. September 23. KazTAG - Top climate scientists issued a report on Sunday showing that over the last several years, sea-level rise, planetary warming, shrinking ice sheets and carbon pollution have accelerated, reports the UN.
Among other findings, the report says that accelerating climate impacts from melting ice caps to sea-level rise and extreme weather were to blame for the record as the global average temperature increased by 1.1°C above pre-industrial (1850-1900) times and 0.2°C warmer than 2011-2015.
The findings presented by the report’s experts spotlight the sense of urgency. Amid growing recognition that climate impacts are hitting harder and sooner than climate assessments indicated even a decade ago, there is now a real risk of crossing critical tipping points, according to the scientists.
For example, the report shows that the average global temperature for 2015–2019 is on track to be the warmest of any equivalent period on record. It is currently estimated to be 1.1°Celsius (± 0.1°C) above pre-industrial (1850–1900) times.
Widespread and long-lasting heatwaves, record-breaking fires and other devastating events such as tropical cyclones, floods and drought have had major impacts on socio-economic development and the environment. Moreover, as climate change intensifies, cities are particularly vulnerable to impacts such as heat stress and can play a key role in reducing emissions locally and globally.
Against this backdrop, meeting the targets set under the 2015 Paris Agreement requires immediate and all-inclusive action encompassing deep decarbonization complemented by ambitious policy measures, protection and enhancement of carbon sinks and biodiversity, and effort to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
“Strategies for mitigation and for upscaling adaptive risk management are necessary going forward. Neither is adequate in isolation given the pace of climate change and magnitude of its impacts,” says the report, which warns that to stop a global temperature increase of more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the level of ambition needs to be tripled.
The scientists say that “only immediate and all-inclusive action encompassing: deep de-carbonization complemented by ambitious policy measures, protection and enhancement of carbon sinks and biodiversity, and efforts to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, will enable us to meet the Paris Agreement.”
“The scientific data and findings presented in the report represent the very latest authoritative information on these topics. It highlights the urgent need for the development of concrete actions that halt the worst effects of climate change,” said the Science Advisory Group to the Climate Action Summit, co-chaired by WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas and Leena Srivastava, former Vice Chancellor of TERI School of Advanced Studies.
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